”The Gotterdammerung Gavotte” sees Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass join forces with five other occult detectives–including Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence–to confront the horrors of the Great Old Ones in London in 1921. It was published in 2012 in issue 18 of the Lovecraft eZine.
A hissing sound filled the air, and St. Cyprian smelled burning rock and sediment. The distortions had resumed their march, and they burned the street as they came. A wind whipped along the Embankment now, scattering hats and blowing open coats. A woman screamed as something lean and a-thirst brushed by her, invisible save for the phosphorescent saliva that dripped from its maw.
St. Cyprian released the brake and twisted the wheel, sending the Crossley into motion. Warren, not wasting any time, clung to the running board. Something struck the canvas roof, and the smelling of burnt material clogged the noses of all in the auto. Silence, in the backseat, thrust up a hand and released a shout of Latin. The sounds and smell of burning faded, but only for a moment.
“They seek to stop us from reaching the place of ritual,” Dubnotal said, adjusting his turban. “That is astonishingly bad form, I must say.”
“Can’t count on the rival firm to play fair, I’ve found,” Ravenwood said. He was squeezed tight between Dubnotal and Silence. “Can we outrun them?”
“I’d wager we’ve outrun worse,” St. Cyprian said. The Crossley followed the serpentine length of the Thames. “But that won’t matter unless someone tells me where we’re going.”
“It is a house that is not a house,” Dual said, pressed tight against the passenger door, his hands against Gallowglass’ shoulder.
“Very helpful, this chap,” Gallowglass said.
Something scraped against the back fender, and the car momentarily fishtailed. Warren shouted in fear as he clung to the door, and St. Cyprian fought with the wheel. Things followed them, moving between the blinks of their eyes, ragged hungry shapes that resembled leaves caught in an updraft.
“Left, go left,” Dual yelled.
St. Cyprian turned left. Something was yanking on the roof, tearing at it like an enraged simian. Gallowglass drew her pistol and leaned over the seat, twisting and firing upwards even as the back of her head connected with Ravenwood’s lap. The American mystic made a strangled sound. “Sorry,” Gallowglass said, popping open the Webley and ejecting the spent brass.
The roof ripped away a moment later and cartwheeled down the street as if caught in a strong wind. A smell like a wolf-den in summer washed over the Crossley’s passengers. Silence, Ravenwood and Sar Dubnotal all shouted at once, Latin, Naacal and Etruscan syllables tripping over one another and tangling together in a concerto of occult significance. There was a snap, as of leathery wings and the car trembled as if a great weight had suddenly left it.
“Right, Mr. St. Cyprian!” Dual said, flinging out a hand. St. Cyprian fought the wheel, trying to follow the astrologer’s shouted directions. They took a narrow by-street and the brick walls to either side gave twin groans as sudden canyons were carved across their heights, showering the Crossley with bits of brick and dust.
“They’re still on us,” Warren said, hunched on the running board.
“We’re close,” Dual said.
“So are they,” Warren snapped. Bricks thumped into the Crossley’s hood and cracked the windshield. The hood buckled, causing the front tires to squeal. The windshield burst, spattering St. Cyprian with glass. Something invisible, but strong, burst through and what felt like a hairy, scaly talon fastened about his throat, shoving him back into his seat…